Freshmen: Week 4 Recap

Freshmen in Room G17 focused on narrative this week. After watching me model a pre-writing technique for the narrative assignment, students chose a topic and sketched out their narrative plan. After this preparation, students spent 45 minutes on Tuesday composing an entire rough draft of the essay using Google Docs. They were introduced to our task for the next two weeks: reading like a writer. We revisited “The Scarlet Ibis,” studied our readers workshop text, and analyzed a sample I wrote in order to consider how writers engage and orient their readers. Students determined that setting the mood of the piece, introducing characters and conflict, and using descriptive language seemed to be a common way that authors compelled their readers to continue with the story. Students returned to their rough drafts and spent twenty to thirty minutes revising the introductions of their narratives, using our mentor texts as models.

This week, we will continue with revisions, focusing on pacing, dialogue, organization, and conclusions. Students will be given two full class periods to work on revisions and conference with me about their progress. The final due date for this essay is Friday, September 25.

Parents, how can you help? Each week, I’ll provide some suggestions for staying involved in your child’s learning in Language Arts in ways that promote dialogue.

  • This week, ask your child to explain the way readers workshop works in Room G17. We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing procedures and grading policies. If your child is unable to explain or is confused about procedures, encourage him or her to reach out to me with questions.
  • A major goal in our narrative writing is to consider how we can learn from our stories in order to live better in the future. Ask your child what lesson the narrator learns in his/her narrative.